Nuclear deal expected in Chinese state visit to Britain

October 21, 2015 7:49 am
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Xi is expected to make a statement on the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in southwest England, where Chinese investors would take a one-third stake, according to the Financial Times/XINHUA
Xi is expected to make a statement on the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in southwest England, where Chinese investors would take a one-third stake, according to the Financial Times/XINHUA
LONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 21 – Britain and China are set to seal business contracts worth billions on Wednesday, the second day of President Xi Jinping’s state visit, including on Britain’s first nuclear power plant in decades.

The leaders have hailed Xi’s visit as a milestone in relations between the two countries, as Prime Minister David Cameron rolls out the red carpet to court Chinese investment.

On the streets, scores booed as Xi rode to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, denouncing China’s human rights record.

Xi is expected to make a statement on the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in southwest England, where Chinese investors would take a one-third stake, according to the Financial Times.

British oil giant BP and the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation will also agree to jointly develop projects in China and elsewhere.

France’s EDF is the lead contractor in the £24.5-billion ($37.8 billion, 33.3 billion euros) nuclear project.

“Together with suppliers and our partners we have created a supply chain ready to build Hinkley Point C, which will help the UK meet its future need for reliable low carbon electricity,” EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said.

The project would create over 25,000 jobs and power six million homes, and is subject to approval by ministers, according to Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The British government has said deals worth over £30 billion ($46.4 billion, 40.7 billion euros) are to be signed during the four-day visit.

Other deals set to be announced on Wednesday are £325 million in “creative and technology partnerships,” according to Cameron’s office.

These include a £50 million deal between carmaker Aston Martin and China Equity to develop a low-emission sports car, media deals to distribute BBC and Chinese entertainment, and for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to open a design museum in the city of Shenzhen.

Britain also announced changes to Chinese tourist visas to increase the number of Chinese visitors, which Cameron said was “great news for our tourism industry”.

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